by Dorothy Gilman
Reviewed January 19, 2002.
A Sonderbooks' Best Book of
(#1, Fiction Rereads)
Doubleday, 1992. 263 pages.
I can’t think of another book quite like Caravan
It’s as thrilling and full of suspense and life-or-death escapes
as a spy novel, but there’s no spying involved. It’s got a
beautiful love story, but that doesn’t start until toward the end,
so you couldn’t call it a romance. Besides that, the love story is
completely untraditional. You could probably call it a coming-of-age
novel, but no one else ever came of age the same way that Caressa
Horvath did. I don’t want to say anything about the plot, because
almost every chapter has a surprise or a narrow escape. Let me
simply say that the first time I read this book, it stayed on my mind
for weeks. An excellent book.
I thought of reading this book because a brand-new
Dorothy Gilman book is sitting on my desk at the library, waiting
to be processed. Expect a review in the next issue!
(The only reason I left it on my desk was that I opened the box after
I was already supposed to have gone home.)
I first discovered Dorothy Gilman in a lucky moment
when I was browsing the shelves of the Torrance Public Library as
a teen. Her first novels were the Mrs. Pollifax books.
They are thoroughly delightful, about an elderly lady who was bored
with life and volunteered to be a CIA agent. (We have some of
them at the Sembach Library. The first one is called The Unexpected
) She was sent on a simple courier mission
and ended up embroiled in dangerous international intrigue. Later
on, I discovered that I like Dorothy Gilman’s non-Pollifax books perhaps
Dorothy Gilman’s characters are never boring, and
are always quirky. I find that makes them endearing and likeable.
Most of them have frightfully dysfunctional backgrounds, but they
end up coping with life just fine. Rather refreshing, for a
Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.
All rights reserved.
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